Massive Moscow Thunderstorm Injures 9

Storm Report

A thunderstorm with a high frequency of lightning descended upon Moscow just before midnight on 13 July 2016. Earth Networks Total Lightning Network™ detected approximately 25,000 lightning strikes during a 12-hour period when the storm moved eastward across the city. The below video shows both the in-cloud (purple) and cloud-to-ground (yellow) lightning strikes.

Along with the high frequency of lightning, this thunderstorm also contained wind gusts up to 21 meters per second. These wind gusts uprooted approximately 1,000 trees and accompanied by heavy rain, contributed to the damage of over 120 vehicles.

There was hardly any visibility when the storm’s rain and hail hit. As a result, traffic was halted throughout the city.

Other damage included dangerous downed power lines and flash flooding in low-lying areas. The storm delayed over 30 flights at Domodedovo Moscow Airport and Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Lightning Safety

Photo: Vladimir Astapkovich / RIA Novosti

Prior to the storm’s arrival in the capital, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry issued a strong thunderstorm warning. Despite the warning issued, the storm still injured at least nine people.

The presence of in-cloud lightning is a crucial indicator of other severe weather conditions that were present, like the heavy rains that caused flash flooding and poor visibility as well as high wind speeds that uprooted trees and sent debris flying. Respecting lightning and weather alerts is imperative to staying safe in dangerous thunderstorms. If you are caught unprepared in a lightning storm, remember

  • Seek shelter in a building
  • Immediately remove yourself from elevated areas, bodies of water and electricity conductor
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Do not seek shelter under trees